Day 20 - Florence

Galleria dell'Accademia

This morning set off to the Gallery of the Academy of Florence. Part of the deal with getting up early to beat the crowds, was that we had to go to McDonalds for breakfast. /facepalm

What better way to fill the moral and spiritual vacuum left after a visit to McDonalds, than with Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David. It really is quite breathtaking. The level of detail and anatomical accuracy is amazing. Che pretty much giggled his way through the museum, but we have grown accustomed to that by now.

Medici Chapels

Next we visited the Medici Chapels, where the greatest of Florence’s most powerful family have been laid to rest. Of all the Medici, Lorenza ‘the Magnificent’ probably stands tallest in the pages of history. Under the direction of Lorenzo and his younger brother Giuliano, the Medici essentially sponsored the Renaissance, supporting Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and a host of other brilliant artists and thinkers of the Renaissance. Giuliano was murdered by Pazzi conspirators whilst the Medici celebrated mass in the Florence Cathedral, which at the time was like the assassination of the Kennedy Brothers. Lorenzo was badly wounded, but survived and lived another 30 years as ruler of Florence, and both he and Giuliano are buried together beneath a beautiful sculpture of Madonna and Child, by Michelangelo, which was commissioned by Lorenzo's son Giulio de' Medici who later became Pope Clement VII.

il Duomo

The Jewel of Florence, Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, sits astride the city with Filippo Brunelleschi's dome sitting like the crown of Florence. It is a stunning work of art as well as a masterful piece of architecture with it's amazing facade of white green and red marble.

After our visit to the Duomo, the kids had a portrait done by a street artist. I'm not sure the end result was what they expected, but they enjoyed the experience.

Basilica of Santa Croce 

The Basilica of Santa Croce is another amazing church in Florence and is home to the resting places of some of the giants of the Renaissance, including Galileo, Niccolo Machiavelli and Michelangelo

Tomorrow we leave Florence and again feel we have not had enough time to experienced all we wanted to, but like Rome, we promise to return. Next stop, Venice!